I was listening to a segment of Seth Godin’s Start-up School Podcast when he said something I’ve heard others say but that really hit me this time.
“Have a point of view.”
He had been talking to his audience about getting their message out, growing an audience that truly wants to hear (or read) what you say, and who wants more of it.
I didn’t choose another podcast from the que because that little statement – “have a point of view” – was busy rolling around in my head.
According to the British Dictionary at Dictionary.com a point of view (POV) is….
- A position from which someone or something is observed
- A mental viewpoint or attitude
- The mental position from which a story is observed or narrated
Mr. Godin emphasized having a POV and sharing it – fearlessly – because it’s the foundation to helping clients buy.
And that’s the most basic part of MY POV – that you can’t convince anyone to buy anything. They’ve got to come to that conclusion…make that commitment…themselves. You can only help them buy.
I asked my Facebook contacts what makes them recognize that someone is an authority in a subject area and what would make them decide to follow that person and consider buying from them?
My contacts said things like “confidence” and “their message sounds right to me” and “their message rings true to me”.
So maybe the secret to building a strong foundation to (y)our messages is to understand our POV and communicate it.
Powerfully. Continuously. Consistently.
So have a trusted business friend ask you, “why should someone buy from you rather than a competitor?” and then answer that out loud and ask them for feedback on the clarity, confidence, and passion you spoke with.
Could they really hear and mentally see what makes you unique or did you use vague statements like, “I give my clients the best service”?
Did you speak with the conviction that confidence brings or did your voice and speech patterns send the message that you’re unsure of yourself?
What feelings did they sense from you or did your little explanation give them? Did they get a sense that your work consumes you? That solving your client’s problems, helping them achieve their goal really keeps you up at night?
Einstein said, “If you can’t explain something you don’t understand it.”
As crazy as it may sound, you may not fully understand the principles, values, and beliefs that drive you. Especially those that drive you to do your work in the way you do it and to grow your business in the way you’re growing it.
There are times when our principles, values, and beliefs collide in such a way that we struggle to draw a line in the sand and give full voice to our beliefs.
We were indoctrinated to believe that we could only be different between the little walls of the box our superiors put us in. That we couldn’t voice an opinion too strongly or we’d be thought of as someone who wasn’t a team player.
But it’s time to accept that we’re the CEO as well as the Chief Marketing Officer, head of Sales, and the front line employees as well.
And that if we really ARE different from the competition we need to be sure everyone knows that and understands what makes us unique.
This is truly risky – telling people what we think.
But having a clear point of view and boldly sharing it is exactly what we have to do to have the impact we want with those we most want to help. And be well-rewarded for doing it.
To identify your own POV try answering the following questions…
- What do you believe about the problem you solve and the outcome you deliver?
- Can you list a 10 Commandments or 10 Rules about the problem or the outcome?
- What do you think others in your line of work are getting wrong or leaving out?
- Which segment of those who need what you do is underserved by those in your line of work?
- Why do people need you in order to have the result they want?
- What aren’t your competitors emphasizing that you think they should be?
A great way to really get to the bottom of your point of view is to decide to write a book about it.
Seriously. I’m not kidding.
Nothing will force you to articulate your thoughts like creating something that others are going to pay to read.
As C.S. Lewis said, “We do not write in order to be understood; we write in order to understand.”
Winnie, this is what I have been squirming about for two years. Thanks for posting this.
Hi Terry. Thanks for letting me know. Feel free to elaborate or ask any questions. I just shot another video about this today. I’ll post the link here on the 4th.